Saturday, March 31, 2012

New little guy

Posted by, Paulette

This is the little guy I'm working on today.

 He's undergone quite a transformation already from what he looks like in these pictures. Originally he was supposed to be a baby. After wigging him and realizing that he doesn't really look like a baby, I decided that he' s going to be someone else. Maybe you can guess. He'll have a little friend perching on his hand.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I Will Call Her Rosa

Posted by, Paulette

My Dia De Los Muertos doll is finished and I will call her Rosa. I think it fits.


She is available for sale in my shop.

Skinny German Food

Posted by Paulette

As Elmo would say, "I love to eat and try new foods!"
Tonight I was wanting some German food. So I texted my friend who is knowledgeable about these things and asked her for names of some of her favorites. Most of them I couldn't pronounce! 
However after doing a Google search for recipes, I decided that traditional German food is not diet worthy! There was so much cream, or butter, or bacon, or bread in all it's various forms. 
After reading through quite a few recipes, I thought I'd try to come up with a skinny version of some of them. 

German turkey Meatball Soup

1 pound ground turkey
2 eggs
4 slices gluten free bread
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
3/4 teaspoon ground marjoram
pinch of ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Mix meatball ingredients together in a large bowl. 
Heat a large skillet to medium high heat and add 4 tablespoons canola oil. Let it heat up until the oil shimmers and then make 2 inch balls from the mixture and place into the oil. Let fry until brown and then turn over to other side. Place into gently simmering pot.

While your meatballs are cooking, in a large stock pot add:

4 cups chicken stock (mine was homemade and had no salt. If you use store bought you may want to reduce the salt below)
4 cups water
6 red potatoes, washed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

When all of the meatballs are done cooking, add following to the remaining oil in the pan:

2 large celery stalks
4 garlic cloves

saute for about two minutes and then add to the pot.

Chop 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley and add to soup.

Mustard Vinegar Kale

2 bunches kale washed and dried, and most of the stem removed
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

In the still hot pan, add the kale. Mix together the last three ingredients and pour over the top of the kale. It should wilt within a few seconds. Once it's darkened in color, and wilted some, it's ready.

I've not had very much German food, but my husband told me it tasted authentic enough. I think that it satisfied my craving without having too much fat or carbs. 

If you make this, tell me what you think!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

New Doll: Dia De Los Muertes

Posted by, Paulette

My new girl is waiting for her clothes. I am pleases at how her "make-up" turned out and I love her lovely curls!

Spring Mantel

Posted by, Paulette

 I shopped the house for items to decorate the mantel for Spring. Some of these things were in other places decorating the house and some were in the garage. The only things I bought was the two rabbits at Goodwill for a buck each.
 The eggs are paper mache'. Painted with acrylics.

Mommy bunny had some damage to her ears. You can see the spot at the end of her left ear. I just put some Super Sculpey into it, and sculpted it until it looked right and then baked it in the oven.

Remember these hydrangeas? I dyed them with food coloring. Originally I'd done them in a turquoise and light green. I didn't think that they looked natural enough, so, I over dyed them.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Gluten Free Dairy Free Apple Streusel Muffins

Posted by Paulette

While out shopping this week, I came across something new in the butter aisle. It's Best Life buttery baking sticks. Since I have a cow's milk allergy, and I hate the idea of using margarine, I decided to give them a try. I love the results!
Check out the ingredients and nutritional information. Sooo much better than margarine. No hydrogenated fats. And it's cheaper than butter. 

Gluten Free Dairy Free Apple Streusel Muffins
makes just over 20 muffins

3 cups Pamela's Gluten Free bread flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 apples peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
2 eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups soy milk
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Mix above ingredients into a large bowl, and set aside.

1/2 cup (1 stick) Best Life Buttery Baking Sticks (or margarine)
1 cup GF flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Place ingredients into a medium size bowl. Using a pastry blender, or forks, cut the baking sticks into the dry ingredients. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin tins with non-stick spray (or line with papers)
 Spoon muffin batter into muffin tins, filling to about 3/4 full. Spoon on the streusel topping. 
Bake for 20 minutes.

This is not a paid endorsement for the Best Life Buttery Baking Sticks. I just love sharing my discoveries with my friends!

Friday, March 16, 2012

I Got BIt By An Ostrich!

Posted by, Paulette

We're still on spring break, and there's no way I'm staying home all day doing spring cleaning! I wonder, is that even possible with 5 kids at home messing things up? The best idea is to get OUT of the house.
Yesterday, my aunt and uncle treated us (because you know we're broke) to a day at Rooster Cogburn's Ostrich Farm.  The kids had a blast. My favorite part was feeding the Lorikeets.

The kids had already fed the donkeys before I remembered my camera. Next we moved on to the sweet little deer.

 Then the goats. The following picture explains why the goats are in a pen high up in the air.

 These goats were more accessible.

Two headed goat? No.

Careful! Those birds bite! I was just trying to put feed in the trays, when one of them grabbed my finger and bit me. OUCH! It drew blood.

She doesn't LOOK dangerous. Does she? But these creatures are descended from the dinosaurs. 

This was my favorite part! The Lorikeets. Too bad the nectar cost more than I had in my purse, or we could have spent all day in their cage! 

 This is best picture I have of Jonny. He's usually hiding when the camera comes out. And I've had the worst luck getting his face. He's such a cutie!

The Ruins

Posted by, Paulette

Sometimes when we go on outings as a family, I wonder what it would be like to home school. And then I get sane again and realize that it's not all about the outings, and that they would be at home...all the time. Aaaaahhhh!

Still, these educational outings are so much fun.
Saturday, after spending most of the day trying to get the kids to do chores, we finally set out for a picnic. I've been wanting to see the Hohokum ruins at Hohokum for about a year now, and the weather is perfect right now. Pretty soon the temps will be in the 100's and we'll be less likely to want to go out into it. At the mid 70s and low 80s it's PERFECT!

So we stopped off at the store to pick up some things and we were off. We arrives at 4:30. The park closes at 5. Not much time to go and see the ruins, but since they're literally just outside the door of the museum, we had plenty of time.

It's pretty amazing to think that these walls date back to the 14th century!
When I got home I was impressed to learn that Hohokum means "forgotten." 
When the Native Americans were asked, by the European explorers, about where their forefathers were, they called them Hohokum.

When you live in the desert today it's hard to believe that there was a thriving community that lived here without all of the modern conveniences and that there's so much food in the desert, even for people!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My Day With Goats

Posted by Paulette

Don't you just love spring break? The slower and relaxed schedule are nice. And I love being able to take the kids out on outings and sleeping in a bit. 
 Tuesday looked like it was going to be a day of going to the library and a nice relaxed visit with friends. Just sitting on the porch and watching kids play and catching up with news. We made it to the library and then went to a friend's house. After about an hour of visiting, I learned that my friend's daughter, Heidi, is goat sitting. She is responsible for milking them each day and making sure they have food and water while the owners are on vacation for a week.
 Life has a way of changing things up and making them more exciting. One of the goats delivered a beautiful buck the night before and when she arrived she noticed that Missy was still laboring to deliver another kid. My friend Tami invited me to go and see the new kids with them.
 I just can't pass up an opportunity to hold baby animals!
When we arrived it was evident that Missy was in distress and after milking her, it was decided to call a professional goat keeper and ask for advice.
She t old us that we needed to "go in and pull the kid out." There were more instructions, but after Heidi gave it a try, she became unsure of herself. She's been in FFA, and so, we thought that she'd have some knowledge about what to do. She's only 16 now, but when she's an adult, it would be amazing to see what she can do.
 I volunteered to check Missy and see if I could help her birth the kid. Unfortunately, the kid was still born. 
 Tami and I explained to Heidi that Missy didn't know, and wasn't emotionally attached the way humans are. 
 The little kid that I'm holding in the picture is Missy's. And Missy is the white goat in front of me.
 We visited her early this morning and checked her again, and she didn't have any kid in the birth canal. I hope she'll finish up this business of birthing soon. I feel such compassion for her. 
 I guess I can pass off "birthing a farm animal" off my bucket list. It just shows that you can do anything!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Medusa cloth doll

Posted by, Paulette

Sometimes when I'm out shopping, I'll pick up an item and have a picture flash into my head. Before Christmas, Dave and I were on a date and found ourselves at Joann Fabrics. While shuffling through their clearance bins, I found rolls and rolls of snake printed ribbon. I had an image of Medusa flash into my head. Flash forward to a few days ago. I found the ribbon while looking for something else and pulled it out and took it to my desk along with some pipe cleaners and a needle and thread and got to work. I found that by rolling the ribbon around the pipe cleaners a certain way and hand stitching it, I could get something that looked like a snake, so the project was a go.

The next part to decide was to make her pretty with all of those snakes for hair, or ugly...or something in between. I remembered that a couple of years ago, I'd bought some fabric that resembled tree bark, and thought that was a good start.

While needle sculpting her face, I thought that I would go the in between route, and make her a bit pretty. I've never done the shading or painting on a dark skinned doll before, and after pulling up a picture of a beautiful African woman on the internet, I had a reference.

 After some research on the internet (thank goodness for Wickapedia) I put together a chiton and some jewelry and a stand that is reminiscent of ancient Greek pottery. 

Here's a better picture of all of those snakes.
 Medusa is available in my shop.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Sarah Swan Lake Ballerina Ghost doll

Posted by, Paulette

I finally finished my latest doll. Her name is Sarah.

 I imagine that children who have passed on have the same passions as they did when on this Earth. Sarah loves to dance. Her favorite costume to wear is the one from Swan Lake. 

She is available for sale in my shop.